Dec 052012

Our Regency Personage for December was born in December

Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775. She was the seventh of eight children and only the second daughter. Her father was a clergyman.

Her oldest brother was James who became a clergyman like their father.

The second brother was George about whom not much is known. It is thought that he was deaf because Jane knew how to “speak with her fingers.” Some say he had other problems and might have been a Down’s syndrome child. George lived in a private home with a caretaker all his life.

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Oct 042012

Though Elizabeth Billington was thought to have one of the greatest voices of the age,the caricaturists loved to poke fun at her.

Mrs. Billington 1765-1818 was the daughter of Carl Weichsell, a well-known oboist, and a popular singer. In childhood she studied singing and composition with J.C. Bach, and by age 12 she had produced two keyboard concertos. In 1783, she wed James Billington, singing teacher and player of the double bass. For many years she and her brother, a violinist, provided afterpiece concerts at Covent Garden, where she became renowned for her exceptionally high vocal range and accurate intonation.
In 1802 she made her opera debut at the Italian opera house.  “The recitative was raised from its customary level.”

In 1805, according to the Times, “(she) sung with all the taste and delicacy, expression and neatness of execution that have long placed her above the reach of competition.” Her last performance at the King’s was the following year. She returned to the concert stage and to English Opera, performing alternately at Drury Lane and Covent Garden,
till her retirement in 1817.

Regency Promenade is written every month by Nancy Mayer, Regency researcher extraordinaire.

Aug 052012
Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales

Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales is on our Regency Promenade  by Nancy Mayer



March 1806 La Belle Assemblee


CAROLINE AMELIA ELIZABETH, the present Princess of Wales, and wife of his Royal Highness George, Prince of Wales, was born May 17, 1768.

She is the second daughter of the present Duke of Brunswick, of the Electoral line of Hanover, and of consequence, closely connected before her marriage with the Royal Family of Great Britain.

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Jul 052012
William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce is featured on The Beau Monde Chapter’s  Regency Promenade.

Article written by Nancy Mayer

English: William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce        (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

William Wilberforce was a British politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade.
Born: August 24, 1759, Kingston upon Hull
Died: July 29, 1833, London
Spouse: Barbara Spooner
Education: St John’s College, Cambridge
Buried: Westminster Abbey

William Wilberforce


William Wilberforce is now well-known for leading the parliamentary fight for abolition of slavery in England.

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Jun 052012

 In our Regency Promenade today, Nancy Mayer looks at Beau Brummell.

Brummell, engraved from a miniature portrait

Brummell, engraved from a miniature portrait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beau Brummell (1778 – 1840)

English: A portrait of George Brummell, also k...

English: A portrait of George Brummell, also known as Beau Brummell, from the front of the 1844 biography by Captain William Jesse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do not like Beau Brummell and  think he has been credited with more than he accomplished.

George Brummell was born in 1778. His father is said to have been a private secretary to Lord North, who was prime Minister of England from 1770- 1782.

It is said that his father had been a tradesman and he was determined that  his children should be raised as gentry. Wikipedia says George was sent to Eton and Oxford. These institutions seemed to have turned him against books and learning, or any deep thought.

He was enrolled in the 10th Hussars, the Prince’s Own, also called the Prince’s Dolls, The Prince of Wales liked to design uniforms. A majority of the officers of this  regiment were heirs to peerages and  or were wealthy. Brummell, like another George, George Leigh couldn’t keep up with them.

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May 052012

In our Regency Promenade today, Nancy Mayer looks at Maria Edgeworth, a prolific writer of adults’ and children’s literature who held advanced views on estate management, politics and education.

Maria Edgeworth by John Downman 1807

Maria Edgeworth by John Downman 1807

Maria Edgeworth 1767-1849
“As a woman, my life, wholly domestic, can offer nothing
of interest to the public.” Maria

 Maria Edgeworth was one of three children born to her father’s first, and least loved, wife.

Richard Edgeworth had four wives and twenty-one children. He had a large estate in Ireland.  He experimented with education, using his children as subjects.  Maria adored her father.

He brought her home from school when she was sixteen and set her as an assistant teacher to her siblings.

Maria Edgeworth

Maria Edgeworth

Maria’s family knew her as a warm, practical, volatile, loving person.

She became agitated over little upsets but was calm and efficient in major upheavals; she scoffed at the use of the supernatural and overly comic in books but enjoyed reading about them with her family.

She accepted her father’s philosophy of utilitarianinism and incorporated its lessons in her stories for children.

Miniature of Maria Edgeworth by Adam Buck c1790

Miniature of Maria Edgeworth by Adam Buck c1790

She believed that a woman’s best profession was that of wife and mother, but never married.

She considered herself a critic of the feminist movement of Wollstonecraft and Mary Hays, but  her writings mark her as a closet feminist; she also demonstrated an interest and competence in “masculine subjects” such as science, accounting, and logic.

At first,  Maria wrote  her books in collaboration or with the suggestion of her father. However with Letters for  Literary Ladies and Castle Rackrent she wrote both of them without the knowledge of her father.

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Apr 052012
Henry William Paget

 Nancy Mayer looks at the life of Henry Paget in today’s Regency Promenade.

Sir Henry William Paget (1768-1854), 1st Marquess of Anglesey, 2nd Earl of Uxbridge

Sir Henry William Paget (1768-1854), 1st Marquess of Anglesey, 2nd Earl of Uxbridge

From Scandal to Hero.

Lord Paget, Earl of Uxbridge, Marquess of Anglesey.

 When Henry was born, his father had the surname of Bayly and was Lord Paget.

The father adopted Paget as a surname when he was created  the Earl of Uxbridge in 1784 . At that time, Henry became Lord Paget by which name he was known until 1812.

Henry, Lord Paget married Lady Caroline Villiers, daughter of the 4th Earl of Jersey  in 1795, and had eight children with her.

Lord Paget was a member of parliament from 1790 to 1804 as well as between  1806 to 1810. Though he was elected to a seat in Parliament, Paget was also an active military officer.

Wikipedia says: Paget raised the regiment of Staffordshire volunteers and was given the temporary rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1793. He rose rapidly in rank after he had some experience. 

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Mar 062012

In our Regency Promenade today, Nancy Mayer looks at the lives of The Brothers Scott.

William, who became Lord Stowell, and John, who became Lord Eldon.


Their father, William Scott of near Newcastle upon Tyne who made a modest fortune selling coal.  He had thirteen children with his wife but only three sons and two daughter survived to adulthood….

William born with a twin sister in 1745; Henry; and John born 1751. Henry followed in his father’s footstep’s.

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Feb 062012

 Elizabeth, Lady Melbourne, introduced by our Regency Promenade author, Nancy Mayer.

Elizabeth,Lady Melbourne, with her son

Elizabeth, Lady Melbourne, with her son


Lady Melbourne (née Milbanke: 1752-1818) was one of the most famous Regency Personages.

Her two claims to fame are her son William, husband of Lady Caroline  Lamb, and her friendship with Lord  Byron, the poet. She was also known for her political influence and her lovers, including George, Prince of Wales.

She was the mother of several children by three different fathers and only the eldest, Peniston, was thought to have been fathered by Lord Melbourne.

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Jan 042012

         REGENCY PROMENADE featuring the 3rd Earl of Bathurst

                                            Presented by Nancy Mayer
Earl Bathurst

Earl Bathurst

 Henry Bathurst 3rd Earl Bathurst KG PC (22 May 1762 – 27 July 1834).

He is one who is seldom written about yet he held high offices in the government for most of his life. He was very much in public eye and notice as a member of Liverpool’s cabinet during the Regency. He was secretary of State for War and the Colonies for 15 years.

The first Lord Bathurst was created a baron in 1711. The males went into law, politics and the church. The 2nd Earl, was a judge of common pleas, then Lord High Chancellor (head of the court of Chancery and speaker of the House of Lords). He was also High Steward of England for the Duchess of Kingston’s bigamy trial.

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